Hello my fellow rabble-rousers,
Hooray, today is Labour Day! The day we now dedicate to parades, barbecues, or in my case sitting in the car, stuck in traffic on the way home from the cottage (I know, I know, world’s tiniest violin etc etc.)
So as you know, today is a day originally meant to celebrate workers and very much associated with the labour movement. It is just one of the things that we take as simply a part of the way we live that are the fruits of the courageous women and men who fought and continue to fight for the dignity and safety of all workers. So raise your glass (provided you are not, like me, struck in traffic) to the union activists and rabble-rousers of years past that brought us among other things this excellent stat holiday. We salute you!
With that in mind I present you with my top five favourite labour and union organizing tools from the Lynn Williams Activist Toolkit in no real order:
1. The Union Organizing How-to Guide. It will point you towards a step-by-step guide to setting up a union in your workplace.
2. The Union Solidarity How-To Guide. It will give you hints on how to act in solidarity with striking workers even if you are not a member of the union.
3. Now lest you think that unions are all about strikes, my third tool is all about collective bargaining. At any given time there are a number of unions and locals at the bargaining table hammering out collective agreements that are more or less satisfying to both the workers and the employers. A strike is the sign that something has gone wrong in the collective bargaining process and they are significantly rarer than you would think
4. Is a quick and dirty guide to Right To Work Legislation. Know your union-busting tactics so that you can recognize them and fight back!
5. And last, How To Organize a Workers Co-Operative.
Use these tools in good health and take inspiration from those who came before you.
P.S. The rather silly looking picture of me that pops up beside blog posts was taken last Labour Day when as a family we were re-shingling a roof. My sister took the photo as I handed tools up to her through a rather large hole in the roof where the boards had rotted. This year we celebrated Labour Day by building a small deck.